Sexual Health Essentials: Lesson Plans

Sexual Health Essentials: Lesson Plans

Below you’ll find the title of each lesson, along with the outline content of that lesson and the learning outcomes for students.

Core Sexual Health Facts

5 lessons designed for Year 9 upwards (age +13)

  • Lesson 1: Penis Pressure
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • How to maintain penile health and hygiene, including how condoms are used
      • How pressures and myths can affect a person’s feelings and their expectations around sex
    • Students will be able to:
      • Describe features of penile health and the hygiene practices that support this
      • Describe or demonstrate safe use of a condom
      • Analyse why someone may experience 'performance pressure' and explain how this may affect them
  • Lesson 2: Vulva Vexations
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • The anatomy of the vulva and vagina, and how a person can maintain vulval hygiene and notice when they may need to seek medical advice about vulval health.
    • Students will be able to:
      • Explain the difference between the vulva and vagina
      • Describe the normal variations of vulvas and vaginal discharge
      • Describe the pressures that a person might experience to alter the appearance of the vulva through hair removal
      • Explain when a person may need to seek support about vulval health
  • Lesson 3: Period Dramas
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • What periods are and about the factors that affect menstrual wellbeing product choices.
    • Students will be able to:
      • Explain what a period is
      • Evaluate a range of factors that affect choices about which menstrual wellbeing products a person might choose to use
  • Lesson 4: Sexual Health Check
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • The importance of sexual health check and how people can seek help to access testing or treatment.
    • Students will be able to:
      • Describe what happens during a visit to a sexual health clinic for a check, and when it is advisable to do this.
      • Name some common STIs that are checked for in a sexual health check and describe how these are checked for.
      • Describe how some STIs are treated, including HIV.
  • Lesson 5: Sex Script - Consent
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • How consent can be communicated and how it relates to the law.
    • Students will be able to:
      • Explain what sexual consent is
      • Identify when consent has been given, not given or withdrawn
      • Identify when a person may need to seek support
PSHE Association Approved

Contraception Choices

2 lessons designed for year 11 upwards (age +15)

  • Lesson 1: Exploring the Options
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • Types of contraception available and strategies to use them effectively.
    • Students will be able to:
      • Explain why contraception is used
      • Describe different types of contraception
      • Identify strategies to help someone use contraceptives effectively
  • Lesson 2: Making the Choice
    • Lesson Objectives:
      • The factors that can influence choices about contraception
      • Emergency contraception options
      • How someone can overcome barriers to accessing sexual health services
    • Students will be able to:
      • Describe some of the factors that may affect the type of contraception that is most suitable for someone
      • Describe types of emergency contraception and why someone may need to use these
      • Identify some barriers to accessing sexual health services and strategies for overcoming these

PSHE Association accredited lessons

All of these PSHE Association accredited lessons support mandatory topics in the National Curriculum – see below.

How Sexual Health Essentials follows the National Curriculum for secondary schools

All of the Sexual Health Essentials lessons support mandatory topics in the National Curriculum.

Below, we highlight the relevant Department for Education guidance for " Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education":

Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health

  • "how to recognise the characteristics and positive aspects of healthy one-to-one intimate relationships, which include mutual respect, consent, loyalty, trust, shared interests and outlook, sex and friendship.
  • "that all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, e.g. physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing.
  • "that there are a range of strategies for identifying and managing sexual pressure, including understanding peer pressure, resisting pressure and not pressuring others.
  • "the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available.
  • "how the different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDs, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex (including through condom use) and the importance of and facts about testing.
  • "about the prevalence of some STIs, the impact they can have on those who contract them and key facts about treatment.
  • "how the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to risky sexual behaviour.
    how to get further advice, including how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment."

Ref page 29

The Law

“It is important to know what the law says about sex, relationships and young people, as well as broader safeguarding issues. This includes a range of important facts and the rules regarding sharing personal information, pictures, videos and other material using technology. This will help young people to know what is right and wrong in law, but it can also provide a good foundation of knowledge for deeper discussion about all types of relationships.

“There are also many different legal provisions whose purpose is to protect young people and which ensure young people take responsibility for their actions.

"Pupils should be made aware of the relevant legal provisions when relevant topics are being taught, including for example: consent, including the age of consent"

Ref page 30


"The onset of menstruation can be confusing or even alarming for girls if they are not prepared. Pupils should be taught key facts about the menstrual cycle including what is an average period, range of menstrual products and the implications for emotional and physical health. In addition to curriculum content, schools should also make adequate and sensitive arrangements to help girls prepare for and manage menstruation including with requests for menstrual products."

Ref page 31

Physical health and mental wellbeing

“Changing adolescent body

Pupils should know:

  • key facts about puberty, the changing adolescent body and menstrual wellbeing.
  • the main changes which take place in males and females, and the implications for emotional and physical health.”

Ref page 38

To read more, please see Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Sept 2021.